How to Keep Your Trees Healthy Over Winter

13/12/2016

When it comes to maintaining your gardens trees through the colder months, there are a few things you need to bear mind. The common misconception that trees really don’t require any attention, and just exist without assistance is false. Trees might not require quite as much attention as your flowers and house plants, but when something goes wrong with a tree, it can go badly wrong. Whether we’re talking evergreen or deciduous, there are warning signs and things to look for to make certain that your trees are staying healthy.

Trees are special. They give tone, shelter, vibe and vitality to garden. A tree can provide crucial obstacles between your home and garden and the outside world, allowing you privacy and quiet. People don’t appreciate just how bare, small and two-dimensional a garden without trees can be. Imagine your garden without birds? That would be terrible, you need to maintain and keep an eye on your trees, or one day you could find yourself missing them. Maintaining your trees through the winter isn’t hard, but you need to know what you have to do. Here’s a couple of pointers.

The main thing to know is when to check. The more dramatic weather throughout the winter can be dangerous to trees. Heavy snowfall, strong winds and storms pose significant risks to your garden trees, with a very real danger of snapping, killing and uprooting key parts of the tree structure. As you can imagine, having dying, and falling trees can be hugely inconvenient, dangerous and costly. Fallen trees block roads, destroy cars and can hurt people. Keep an eye on the overall health of your trees. Trees with shallower root structures can be more prone to uprooting or falling, especially through the colder, more tumultuous weather of the winter months.

Whether your trees are evergreen or deciduous, you need to study the bark and leaves for discoloration. On evergreen trees, you’ll be looking for unhealthy colours like blotchy yellows and browns spreading through large groups of the leaves. Discolouration like this can indicate limb death, or various diseases. Once spotted, you should do further research online or contact a specialist tree surgeon. Discolouration, shedding and warping in the bark can also indicate diseases, illnesses and limb death. Another key danger to look out for is ivy, and other parasitic growths. Ivy grows around a tree with the end game of using the shape and stance of the tree to gain better access to sunlight, with the unfortunate side effect of effectively strangling the tree underneath. Fortunately, throughout winter ivy struggles to grow as fast or as effectively, so while it’s a danger you do you need to look out for, it’s unlikely to be too much of a hassle in the colder months. If you do happen to spot any major signs, weaknesses or issues with your garden trees, it pays to get an expert tree surgeon out to take a look.